America has a love affair with small houses right now, spurred by TV shows and a growing desire among the wealthy to be green (or at least look green). As a result, the luxury tiny house is exploding in popularity. There is no contradiction here. Given a piece of land and $100,000, you can build a house of maybe 1000 square feet with few architectural features, cheap finishes, and minimally adequate insulation and interior systems. Or, you can build a house of 200-300 square feet with every detail to your liking. A deluxe tiny house is luxury living made affordable, and plenty of companies now offer to build one for you.
One of them is Chattanooga Tiny Homes, whose owner Mike Bedsole attended last weekend’s Tiny House Jamboree in Colorado Springs. In this video, tiny house spokesperson and goofball-with-a-serious-appreciation-for-craft Deek Diedrickson takes a tour of Mike’s latest custom build, dubbed the Lookout. It has three levels of living space that fit together like a puzzle. I’m floored by how much storage space the house contains, and by the sleeping loft which when complete will have enough headroom for Deek (or myself) to stand upright.
Another brilliant use of staggered floor levels can be found in the Alpha, created by New Frontier Tiny Homes. Here, a vaulted kitchen creates a hiding space for two long benches and a fold-out dining table for 10. Unlike the Lookout, which seems to have been designed from the inside out, the Alpha balances a functional floor plan with a visually appealing exterior (one with architectural precedent, so it looks like a home albeit a contemporary one).
I don’t know if the customers intend to use these houses as primary dwellings, vacation homes, or rental properties. As long as the houses get used, they are money and materials well spent. There’s a positive feedback loop wherein deluxe tiny houses receive publicity, which leads to ever more people downsizing their houses… and I find that pretty exciting.
Thanks to Mary Kate Wheeler.